A fully immersive brand experience: You know what I mean. Those companies whose experience, identity, and emotion are all wrapped up in a tidy package.
Have you been to a Tesla store? Tesla is a compelling story: founded by Elon Musk, who made his fortune from Paypal, and now creating fully electric vehicles (as well as space rockets; this guy doesn’t really sit around). Not just any vehicle; the first few are high-end, luxury automobiles that really stand out (the current models start at $99,00 US). And yet, the list for buyers is on backorder – they can’t make these cars fast enough. Why? If you go into a Tesla store, there are a few cars in the showroom for you to sit in. The car has a what’s effectively a giant iPad instead of a dashboard for all of your controls. It’s not a super flashy car but the geeky details are all there: where the batteries go, how the non-combustible engine was designed from the ground up. I could go on about all its features but I’m not really into cars 🙂 What I can tell you is the experience of the brand in the stores; young, knowledge salespeople who are more than excited to talk about Tesla. The logo is techy and futuristic. For those of us whom the actual vehicle is quite out of reach, they sell jackets, bags, hats and t-shirts so you can still feel part of the “tribe” without actually shelling out the cash. For those who can afford it, the waiting list is just a build up of the anticipation, knowing you are part of a selected few. Tesla isn’t just a car; it’s a story, with a charismatic leader, an excellent product, and an elite vibe for the nerdy set.
Another fully immersive brand experience awaits at Anthropologie, an American clothing retailer that currently operates over 200 stores worldwide featuring a curated assortment of clothing, jewelry, intimates, home furniture and décor, beauty and gifts (as defined in Wikipedia) Really though, for people like me, it’s a store that has all of the clothes, housewares, linens, and accessories that I could possibly lust after. Seriously: Every. Single. Thing.
Anthropologie’s logo is soft, minimal, and airy. The website is updated frequently with the latest collections, and changes with the trend of the season. The stores have an upscale weathered look with enviable floors and settees, and are typically constructed out of old churches, or automobile shops. The style is fairly bohemian and eclectic, and so it certainly doesn’t suit every taste, but for those of us for whom it hits home, it nails it completely, right down to the pretty soft paper they wrap your purchase in [sigh].
Can you see where I am going with this? There are many, many more examples like these (Starbucks, West Elm, Jeep, Under Armour, Lulu Lemon) whose brand and identity don’t necessarily resonate with everyone, but for those who it does, they will defend and patronize the brand as if it were a relative. The whole purchasing experience, from social media to storefronts, from advertising to packaging is one big cohesive package that all tells the same story.
What about your company’s brand? What story are you telling? And is it the same story at every touchpoint, from when your staff answer the phone to when the customer walks out your door? If not, where is the disconnect? The best thing you can do for your company, starting today, is to walk through each touchpoint a customer would experience and find out where they get frustrated or confused, and hence possibly walk away. Fix those broken links and begin to see big changes in your bottom line. And overall, keep looking at the general experience they are getting to see if you, as a customer, might be overall impressed or disappointed with your relationship to the business.
Tips that might help:
Peek User Testing: A great FREE site that has random users use your site for 5 minutes and see what their first impressions are. Good or bad, you will definitely learn something!
Sticky Branding a book that really delves into what your brand should look like to stand out amongst the crowd and tell your story
Don’t think of your logo as just a cute graphic on a piece of paper. Think of it as the beginning of someone’s journey.